Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday 31st January

Anyone fancying a gentle recovery run on Sunday (following Condor Dinner on Saturday) I've arranged to meet Brian at Shelf Roundabout at 10am with the intention of pottering over to Otley and up Wharfedale to Bolton Abbey or Burnsall Cafe.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Flocking Condors"

I may have misheard but I'm sure that is what they said after seeing more that a dozen riders gather together for this ride.
After being the cause of so much trouble last week I made sure to be at the start early. This meant a prompt start from Denholme for the assembled throng, and we picked up the three more waiting in Keighley with no fuss at all. Pete & Brian soon had us through Crosshills and on toward Cowling, handing over to Grimpy and Andy for another a long pull. I did a very short stint on the front on a downhill stretch toward Laneshaw Bridge but, knowing that there were plenty of eager legs waiting to come through, felt that I'd better not stay in the way for too long. So I dropped back and tried to hang on for the rest of the ride.
Well I got dropped a couple of times and I was quite pleased to see that Vicar and Pete Horne also hung back just to keep me company. Even Nigel moved to the back of the group on some of the climbs so that he could keep an eye on proceedings- at least I assume that is why he slipped down the string of riders? Andy kindly came back on a couple of occasions to make sure that the stragglers were safely "Marshalled" back into the fold. Thanks lads - much appreciated.
We then dropped down to Whalley to wish Mike Darke a happy 70th birthday. I'm sure the Mytholmroyd crew were "delighted" to see us get to the cafe and pack the place out just seconds before they arrived...
After a bit of a wait while we all got served (but still a highly rated 8.5 points - tasty bacon, good egg, nice fluffy teacake; pleasant service; free coffee refill and a bit of cake - all for just £5!), some riders were keen to get going again. Too keen perhaps as some of the group were still queuing for the only working loo. So after Nigel had ridden up to berate those eager souls we reformed just in time to for Nigel to exchange pleasantries with a charming Volvo driver at some lights.
Now it must be recorded that el Presidente was out to meet the ride yet again and was riding well. Good on yer John. Meanwhile Peter had punctured in Padiham, giving an opportunity for us slower brethren to "just potter on" up the ramps of Burnley bypass and even make a start on Long Causeway. Just as well really because that gave the faster riders chance for a good aerobic workout and we could just about hang on as they caught us for the final couple of rises. That left the slight step up by the Sportsman to contend with and here it was Robin who kindly paced us back on for the final charge down to Mytholm Steeps. A chap waved from a car coming up and from the way that the hand blocked the entire side window it could only have been Bernard.
Now my legs were starting to twinge a bit and a final climb up from Burnley Road to home was just what I needed to finish off another fine ride. Still, you should always finish with a warm-down by going slowly in a small gear - which was just below walking pace in the granny gear in my case.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunday 24th January

Routes for next Sunday were discussed at last nights meeting at the Caty'. It was decided that we would make our way to Whalley Abbey cafe via Crosshills, over the Moss to Colne and Barrowford then on the ridge to Padiham Heights from where we may go straight forwards to Whalley or as suggested in the pub (beer talking?), put in a loop down to Sabden, over the Nick of Pendle and make our way to Whalley via Pendleton and Wiswell.
Either way we will probably come back via Padiham and Walk Mill then down to Tod or over The Long Causeway.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday the 17th part III - And then there were 7!

By the time we glanced around in Cracoe there was a hardy group of 7 of us: John, Chris, Dom, Andy, Melvin, Niall and myself. After the hesitant start we were beginning to warm up by now and pressed on to Arncliffe without incident. On the approach to the village and with Darnbrook looming the mood in the group was similar to that in the TDF bunch on the approach to Bourg d'Oisans. The mood wasn't to last however and was punctuated with the appearance of John Lumb with tales of ice and snow on the climb, he'd turned back and advised us to do the same. So rather than turn in the road we carried on into the village to follow the road down the north side of the river. We realised this may have been a mistake as we followed the two wheel tracks separated by a 10cm thick block of ice down the middle - we carried on regardless.

It was decided that we should somehow continue with plan A as far as possible (since, in Melvins words, the original ride was 'spread across the countryside') and return via Ayton cafe. A decision that probably added a good 15 miles onto the route.

On the return trip through Carlton John Lumb was the first to crack, closely followed by Niall (who was by now on the longest ride he'd ever done!). And that's where I have to leave the report, Dad's duties dictate that you get son's home safely - so I dropped off the group. No doubt there was a further sort out, perhaps on the climb out of Conenley, perhaps out of Keighley?

A latecomer's tale

After a bit of a cold last week I knew that I had no lungs and no legs on Sunday. Still, I'd foolishly arranged to meet Barker at the roundabout so thought I'd better make an effort.

The old road over Withens was still blocked by snow and there was no way through in my car. I had to double back round through Mixenden instead. Now being a bit late, I though it best to let them know. Robin answered his phone and gallantly said that they'd hang on a couple of minutes for me.

Well I found Robin still waiting patiently at the roundabout - but no-one else. It was clear by the time we got to the hospital that I was never going to catch the bunch so I let Robin ride off. Looks like he never caught the bunch either and ended up riding by himself for the day, coming back over Widdop on his knees.

In the car I'd overtaken Mr Gower earlier making his way through Denholme so now I waited by the level crossing and before long the familiar figure hove into view. Cracoe seemed like a good plan. They supplied bacon & egg (unlike some poncy cafes in Airton) but on brown bread rather than a teacake so only rated 5/10 I'm afraid.
We then rode back via Gargrave, being passed by Brian, Pete, et alia just before Carleton. By this stage it seemed best to finish with Paul as we were having a pleasant time and the pace was just fine for me. Even Nigel was there but he was glowing a bit and it looked like I might have had to dig in a bit hard.
Feeling a bit guilty I rode up Ingrow to Crossroads with Paul then turned back to fetch my motor. The second time up Ingrow I sat down all the way and only used one pedal ...

Calder & Craven Dales 100

Hello Condor, can anyone there help me with information about an Audax BP event run I think by John Lee and Paul Gower called Calder & Craven Dales 100 (not the 200). I rode it in 1990 and would like to do it again but can't remember the route, except it started at Grove Inn, Brearley.
roger walker

I've moved the comment up here as a new post to make it more visible - Ian

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sun 17th Jan report

Excellent turn out, the regulars were joined by both Hartleys, Sean & Niall, Dom Turner, Grimpy & Andy Marshall. Brian arrived at Denholmgate with a flat back tyre so we were a little late getting started. Going through Keighley we picked up Keith Lambert and a couple of his mates and were rolling along nicely. Steve, Robin & Mel were waiting at Keighley roundabout which is where the problems started. We heard something shouted to the effect that Ian was just behind; we slowed and soft tapped towards Skipton. Mel & Steve caught up telling us that Robin had hung back to pace Ian onto the bunch.

As we entered Skipton Robin & Ian still hadn't caught up, we stopped and waited 10 minutes, Andy rode back looking for them but they failed to show so we set off. Nigel and I struggled a bit on the rise out of Skipton so we decided we would turn off at the Duck Pond and go straight to Airton Cafe via Hetton & Winterburn rather than round Arncliffe and Malham Tarn. I told Brian who thought it was a great idea and came with us. I asked Steve to let the peloton know what had happened to us, he said he would but then immediately turned off the designated route himself and came with us, as did Keith and Rock Racing.

As you can imagine we were sat in the nice warm cafe drinking tea and eating bacon butties exchanging banter with other cyclists we were feeling rather guilty about not doing the full specified route so its made me feel a lot better to hear that the main bunch also failed in their bid to conquer Darnbrook

Perhaps someone could blog a report as to just what happened to (a) Robin and Ian (Ian was sighted briefly later in he day pottering along a back lane with Paul Gower). (b) The bunch and their failure to get over Darnbrook.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sunday 17th January & AGM & Condor Dinner

A bit better forecast for this Sunday, temperatures are predicted to soar up to 6 degrees so hopefully we will be able to wander a little way from the main roads. So as not to confuse anybody I suppose we will have to keep to the standard time & meeting place, Denholmgate (outside Whittakers) 9am. I suggest we go up Littondale to Arncliffe then over Darnbrook, Malham Tarn and to the cafe in Airton. Perhaps if the weather is a little kinder it may tempt the upper valley boys out and perhaps even an odd Hartley.

Just a reminder that the Condor Annual General Meeting is to be held at the Caty' at 9pm next Wednesday the 20th of Jan. Please make every effort to attend.

The 60th Annual Dinner & Prize Presentation is to be held at Lightcliffe Golf Club on Saturday the 30th January, 6.30 for 7pm (or 6pm in the White Horse). Cost is £22 including wine. Please contact Paul Gower or Trevor Lever to book tickets. Below is the menu, Paul/Trevor need to know in advance your preferred choice (or you can e-mail me on ) :-

Leek & Potato Soup
Creamy Garlic Mushrooms served in large Vol-au-vent

Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding
Pork Loin & Cider Gravy
Salmon Fillet with Chive Mash and Hollandaise sauce

Homemade Bread & Butter Pudding
Apple Crumble & Custard
Cheese & Biscuits

followed by Coffee & Mints

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday 10th January

Another no-show from our on line convener Sean and from the Wainstalls contingent. Nevertheless we still had a good turnout, seven in total, myself, Brain, Pete, Pete Whitley, John and Chris from VS and Tom Murray from Ploughmam Craven; all in all a pretty wide range, both in terms of age and ability.

We decided to ignore Sean's suggestion of Settle (as he wasn't there he couldn't argue) and set fair for the cafe at Burnsall. The roads were clear of snow and ice and it was a good 3 to 4 degrees warmer than last week - happy days.

I think more than one of us were preparing our excuses for dropping off the back and making our own way as the quality and youth on the front of the bunch suggested that this ride could be a quite brisk. Fortunately nobody was looking to put the hammer down so with the exception of Pete (Whitley) who turned just afer Skipton we all made it to Burnsall more or less together.

On the return Pete struggled with a troublesome free wheel which intermittently was "free" in both directions however this did give me an opportunity to recover and probably meant I stayed in touch for longer than would otherwise have been the case

The ride back inevitably became fragmented with Tom, John and Chris finally breaking some rather slack elastic on the climb over Cringles. I lost touch with Pete and Brian on the same hill, caught them at Silsden only to be dropped again going up Ingrow.

As I say - Happy Days!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sunday 10th - Training Ride

I guess we'll need to stick to the main roads this week. How about straight out to Settle? Perhaps taking an alternative route once we've assessed the roads situation. Either way, it's same place same time for meeting up - 9 am at Denholme.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

1st training run of 2010

It was minus 4 when we met at Denholmgate but it didn't stay like that for long (it dropped to minus 5). However it didn't feel that cold, the sun was out, the skies were blue and all was right with the world untill we got to Kettlewell and found that both cafe's were closed. I reckon that Pete Whiteley must have known they was going to be closed 'cos he disappeared on the climb out of Skipton. It was good to see Pete out with The Condor again, I hope he wasn't put off by Damian's refusal to fit a mud flap to his guards.
We went back to Cracoe and found a warm welcome there, plus the added bonus of not having as far to ride home. It did get a bit serious up Ingrow with the Racelight Tk's putting one over on the bog-standard T's but I reckon they've peaked too early - the North West Passage isn't for another 6 weeks. If you're wondering why the cafe photo is blurred its not the soft focus romantic look its condensation on the lens.
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Friday, January 01, 2010

As you can see from the above four hardy souls did turn up for the New Years Day Isle of Skye run, the road over to Greenfield was officially closed with barriers blocking access but it wasn't too bad really. Minus 2 over the top but the wind chill made it feel colder.

A good turn out at The Works in Sowerby Bridge, all committee members present except Ian who we had been expecting but who must have decided to start the new year off with more than just a potter over the Isle.
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